Italian legend Gianluca Vialli dies after long battle with cancer

Former Italy, Sampdoria, and Chelsea star Gianluca Vialli died at the age of 58.

The Cremona-born Italian, who also managed Chelsea and Watford, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017 but was cleared three years later only for it to return in 2021.

Vialli played in Serie A, for Sampdoria and Juventus, before moving to Chelsea in England to finish his playing career. After retiring as a player, he became a manager and coach.

Vialli played 59 times for Italy, scoring 16 times, and won the Champions League with Juventus before joining Chelsea in 1996 and becoming player-manager two years later in 1998.

He started his professional football career at Cremonese, a club based in his hometown.

He joined Juventus in 1992 for a then world record £12m (500 million baht) after winning the Serie A title and the European Cup Winners’ Cup during eight seasons with Sampdoria.

Vialli made history as the first Italian to manage a Premier League team when he took over at Chelsea in 1998, replacing Ruud Gullit.

Italian legend Gianluca Vialli dies after long battle with cancer | News by Thaiger

During his time at Chelsea, he led the team to victory in the League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and UEFA Super Cup. He also guided the club to victory in the 2000 FA Cup final and Charity Shield but was let go early in the following season due to poor performance.

After leaving Chelsea, Vialli had a brief stint as manager of Watford, a team in the English second division, during the 2001-02 season. However, he was fired after the team only finished 14th in the league.

Vialli had recently returned to work with the Italian national team, where he was reunited with Roberto Mancini, his former strike partner at Sampdoria, who is now the head coach of the national team.

Vialli had hoped to continue his involvement with the national team, but in December 2021 he announced that he would be taking a temporary leave to focus on his health.

Vialli had been diagnosed with cancer in November 2018 and underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy. He was initially given the all-clear in April 2020, but the disease returned in December 2021.

In announcing his decision to suspend his involvement with the national team, Vialli stated that his goal was to use all of his mental and physical energy to help his body overcome this phase of the disease so that he could soon be ready to face new challenges.

Football has lost one of its great characters. RIP Luca.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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